Showing posts with label Kitchen Garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchen Garden. Show all posts

06 October 2012

Rinchengang Aree- From Where I live

The famous Rinchengang Aree(Paddies in Rinchengang)in Wangdue covers two beautiful hills facing Wangdue Dzong. If the whole paddies grew rice it could feed Wangdue for a year but ever since I came here I never saw those paddies cultivated. The famous name of the landmark lives only in the famous jokes of Phuba Thinley, where wrinkled foreheads are compared to those paddies in Rinchengang.
Lets look at Rinchengang Differently...

People blame lack of water supply for their inability to cultivate, while I see lack of commitment and abundance of greed toward easy money through sale of land to construction industries. Those paddies are registered as wetland and therefore cannot be transacted which is why they are left uncultivated for years, knowing that someday it will remain wetland no more.
My Kitchen Garden (10X4 m yet enough)
I live a few kilometers across the river and I have used a small piece of land around my house as kitchen garden. In these two years I have discovered that the soil in Wangdue is nothing less than gold. There is nothing that doesn't grow in Wangdue. I grow sixteen varieties of vegetables and I have not visited Sunday Market for months. I even share my produce with my friends. When the whole nation was worrying and about vegetable import ban, and crying over inflation in vegetable price I was in my kitchen garden wondering what the hell.
My Girl and her friend with Corn Harvest
I wake up early in the morning and work in my garden, and I keep working when the students walk through the gate, just to show to them that I grow my own vegetable and that they could do all the same. I often wished if children from Rinchengang saw me working so that they get inspired to look back at their endless paddies and see what they have left behind.

Radish, Broccoli, Chili, beans, you name it...
P.S. I wish if Lyenpo Pema Gyamtsho could look at the paddies once from across the river and ask if lack of water is justifiable when there is huge river flowing below Rinchengang.

20 June 2011

Geography of My Kitchen Garden

When I wrote Lost Path last June our door step was one foot under the sand. I personally witnessed how the flash floods from the farm road covered our campus with sand thrice, and therefore I know that the place I am calling my kitchen garden is sandy.
My First bean.
If you have followed my blog regularly you would know that I had to build fences around my soul before I could fence my garden. And as if that wasn't enough, my sandy soil brought in lots of skeptical advisers kindly assuring me that nothing would grow in my garden. If they are right, then why am I wasting time? Well, geography says sand is not fertile but geography also say that the flood plain in Bangladesh is very fertile. The sand in my garden was brought there by flood and it ought to be fertile as well.
Chili and Egg Plant

Kingdom of tomatoes- I didn't plant on the side of the box!

 Nobody says anything these days, it has only been over a month and my green garden is answer to all their doubts. Spring onion was the first to answer followed by tomato. Garlic leaves and beans are swaying in the wind. Egg plants are growing huge leaves overshadowing my spinach (spinach reminds me of Popeye the sailor man). Coriander leaves, carrot and broccoli are just germinating while maize and ola choto are touching the fence. Chili trees look promising- I have the Indian chili plants. My most favorite plants in my garden are the two Coffee plants and two Dalle plants. Looking at the list, it may seem like I have acres of land but in fact I only have about ten square feet- including the soil in wooden box.
Spring Onion among Egg Plant, and Coriander in the box.
These many plants growing out of my sandy garden assure me that I have read the geography of Bangladesh carefully.
First harvest!
An afterthought:
* Two coffee plants may give me two cups of coffee, or may be more or may be the wind will never let them grow their fleshy leaves. but twenty years from now, when you drink a Bhutanese coffee brand called "PaSsu" please remember to share with your kids how uncle PaSsu began with just two plants of Coffee ha ha ha.
My two Coffee plants- half ragged by wind!

18 June 2011

Finding Happiness in Kitchen Garden

The long excited wait for the end of the month ends in an hour of bliss, this is the story of every ordinary Bhutanese working on salary. Our salary, which lands in our hand in slow motion disappears like a ghost. That one hour of ownership you have over your salary, before it goes on to fill up the holes you have created throughout the month, is all the joy you could have by right.
How do you extend your ownership over your salary? You are not a delivery boy who collect the salary from your office and go from shops to fuel pump to BPC to Telecom to your landlord to deliver their share as if it were their salary you collected. You money has the right to say in your purse for a night at least.
Since you can't produce petrol you have to buy it. If you don't own a house you have to rent one. Telephone and power bills are unavoidable. You have to pay for clothes since you can't weave on your own. But what about a tomato? or an onion? a bunch of Coriander leaves? Can't we grow them? or do you want to put so much pressure on your salary?
You will call me miser but I call myself awake. I started a kitchen garden- a small one. It gives me a reason to wake up early and feel the dewdrops on the leaves. It gives me time to relax in the evening with a cup of tea along with my wife. It shall give all the basic vegetables I will ever need in a few weeks time- green and fresh.